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How to travel with just hand luggage, according to an expert

By Rhythm Sachdeva

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — With record-breaking delays and lost baggage claims overwhelming Canadian airports, some travellers may be hoping to lighten their loads and abandon checked bags in favour of carry-on hand luggage.

However, for those who aren’t naturally light packers, moving to a streamlined pack could be a tough transition. spoke with travel expert Jennifer Weatherhead, who says she hasn’t checked in a bag at an airport for the last 12 years, for her tips on how to pack less for your holiday and still be prepared for anything. KNOW YOUR FLIGHT’S CARRY-ON LUGGAGE RULES

Rules for carry-on luggage aren’t universal, and depending on which flight you take, you can be asked to check your bag if you don’t meet the airline’s rules. For example, Air Canada allows travellers to carry hand baggage along with a ‘personal item’ which can include a backpack, garment bag, a purse or shopping bag. Most airlines have measurement requirements that both carry-ons have to meet. Some airlines, such as Flair, require passengers to pay to carry hand luggage while a smaller personal item that can fit under a seat is free. BOARD YOUR FLIGHT SOONER

Travellers should make an effort to purchase tickets in sections of the plane closer to the front, if they want to put their luggage in more quickly, according to Weatherhead, though these can be more expensive. Due to the limited space for carry-ons, there have been an increasing number of occasions when passengers have been asked to check their bags. According to Weatherhead, the easiest approach to prevent this is to board the plane earlier. YOU DON’T NEED AS MANY SHOES AS YOU THINK

Weatherhead says that the number one item that passengers always overpack in their luggage is shoes. Along with oversized toiletries, and extra clothes that travellers will never wear.

“(Shoes) don’t fit nicely into your suitcase and you can’t really cram things around them … so if you’re going to pack an extra pair, make sure it’s absolutely worth it,” she says.

Weatherhead recommends planning each day of your trip out to make sure you’re not packing outfits or products that you don’t need. It’s also helpful, she says, to pack a backpack first and see if you can get everything to fit in there before moving on to the suitcase. ‘CUBE’ YOUR ITEMS WHILE PACKING

More and more, the most sensible course to packing appears to be sectioning or ‘cubing’ your items, Weatherhead says. This could mean rolling and adding your clothes into a small cloth bag before putting them in your suitcase, or adding all your essential items in sealed reusable bags before adding them to your backpack. The idea is that this will “compress” all your items and take up less space, according to Weatherhead, and lead to more a compact packing system. CHECK IF YOU’LL HAVE LAUNDRY SERVICES DURING YOUR TRIP

Many Airbnbs have in-house washers and dryers, and many hotels offer or are often near laundry services. Weatherhead recommends packing clothes that can be easily washed and used again, and to keep heavy and fancy clothing to a minimum. Pick breathable fabrics that will dry faster than cotton and take up less room in your suitcase, she says. SWITCH OUT YOUR DAILY PRODUCTS FOR MORE COMPACT ONES

Toiletries always end up taking a lot of space in your bag, and very often, the large-sized bottles aren’t really necessary for any journey shorter than two weeks, Weatherhead says. Not to mention, most flights don’t allow items that weigh 3.4 ounces or more.

Weatherhead recommends going through toiletry products and removing the ones you don’t use every day, along with makeup products, and making sure all of them can fit in a single vanity bag.

“I think once you go carry-on, you’re not going to be able to go back. You’ll just feel so much better about having all of your stuff with you,” she says.

“And the more you try it, the better you’re going to get doing it.”

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Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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